We heard about hay rides being offered, so we gathered up the children, my four, my sister's three, and my brother's two, and off we went. We climbed up the little ladder and settled ourselves and the children on the hay bales, trying to find the optimum adult to child ration to ensure that no one would slip between the wooden planks and fall off the tractor. Because naturally that kind of incident would not have been in the spirit of the outing.
I noticed, in the way you do when you notice things, that the driver of the tractor was a young, good looking person, in that age where they are sort of lost between man and boy. He was probably about halfway through college, working in the summers to pay his next semesters' tuition. I was also quick to observe that the person helping us get onto the trailer bed, the one who read us the safety instructions, and then the one who sat on the hay bale in the back was a very young, pretty blonde who was in that similar stage in life, hovering between girl and woman.
My sister and I situated ourselves next to each other, our children all nestled here and there about. The tractor engine started up and off we went, the hum of the motor a gentle purring in our ears. We bumped along first the road, then the trail in silence as we gazed out at the trees and sky and breathed in the deliciousness of the fresh Lake Michigan air. My thoughts began to wander, and I sighed, because life was so lovely at that moment. I leaned over to my sister, wanting to share in it with her.
"You know, sometimes when I am in situations like this, in moments like this, I just can't help but start to think, and I wonder if," here I paused, suddenly unsure of how to continue, how to say what I wanted to say.
She picked up where I left off, "I know what you mean, like it wasn't that long ago that we were little and sitting in hay rides like this, and where has the time gone? And how can we help our children appreciate it more while they are still young?"
I nodded my head slowly, very slowly. "Yes, yes, that too. But I was actually thinking more along the lines of wouldn't it be so romantic if the driver and the girl back there were both secretly in love with each other, but neither one knew about the other and they sit on this tractor ride after ride, day after day, wondering, hoping, dreaming, never knowing that the other feels the same way?" I sighed again.
And then we both started laughing our heads off.
"But really, yours was good too." I said to her when the laughter had quieted.
In a nutshell, I think that showcases pretty well the difference between my sister and I.